Hundred Reasons – Shatterproof Is Not A Challenge

3 out of 5

Label: Columbia

Produced by: Dave Sardy

I put on Hundred Reasons’ Shatterproof Is Not A Challenge, and I’m instantly rocked and rolled and wondering why I don’t listen to it more often, with its absolutely brutal hooks and blistering vocals produced to raw, glistening perfection by Dave Sardy, and the group’s post-90s alterna-grunge like, right up my alley.

Then a few songs later, I kinda forget I’m listening to the album.

Glancing back at my review of their first release, it’s a carbon copy response: excellent sequencing puts some of the group’s smartest and hardest hitting material up front, with Colin Doran’s frantic sing / scream delivering his generally vague relationship / malaise one-liners with a curled lip and a few smarter variations on this theme, such that the lyrics hit a nice spot between potential meaning and nonsense singalong; the instantly noddable riffage has some fantastic twists and turns, and the group volleys between arena choruses and an almost punk intensity.

But after a few songs of this, we get towards a more streamlined radio rock vibe, which still sounds great, and has many of the above qualities, if perhaps minused some of those smarter variations and twists and turns, allowing it to blend together. And someone clearly knew what was up, as near the end of the album (excepting the eye-rolling necessity of a final acoustic track closer), some of that spark and intensity is invited back in, ensuring that we’re left with more of a memory of the band’s potential impact than their debut offered, and even inviting circling back around to dig on those amazing openers.